As the curtain draws near on the tenure of the current Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Mr. David Asante-Apeatu, the search for his replacement has begun in earnest.
It has become crucial to have a replacement who can transform the Police Service from its current state of seemingly low public image, indiscipline and low morale in the service to a highly motivated force.
The Ghana Police Service is at a cross road with its dented public image and the inability to maintain law and order in our cities due largely to mistrust by the public.
Furthermore, the legitimacy of the police is under siege with reports of assaults on our police officers in public. Mention could be made of the sever beating of a police man by a trotro driver and his mate which went viral on the social media. And also the beating of a policeman at Aamsaman, when he when for an investigation. Another example is the pouring of soup on a policeman at Asikuma in the Central Region, and several other reported cases of assault on police officers.
The above, I conjunction with reported attacks on police stations across the country on the flimsiest of excuse, is an indication that the legitimacy of the police is being challenged and the trust and confidence the public has for the police service is fast eroding with tragic consequences for law and order in our country.
All the above conspire to break down morale and discipline in the Service and there is the need to have a leader or an IGP who can reverse this negative trend as soon as possible.
It is instructive to note that the Police Service is a regimental organization whose administration and operations are directly controlled by the IGP, and according to the Police Service Act, Act 350, the administration and operations of the Police Service are the sole responsibility of the IGP. Therefore, the efficiency and effectiveness of the service is largely depended on who is the IGP.
This is essential because of the fact that the police is regimental organization and its administration depends much on command and control worldwide regardless of new approaches of organizational development.
It is, therefore, imperative that for the future development of the police service, a transformational, innovative and a decisive personal is appointed as the IGP.
Looking at the array of qualified commissioners available, and taking cognizance of our current law and order situation, it is important to select somebody who has a proven track record of administration and operations in the service.
Although there is a deputy IGP who, under normal circumstances, should automatically step in, he is already on retirement and on contract of service. Therefore, appointing him instead of the many commissioners who are in active service would be demoralizing.
In my opinion COP Kofi Boakye stands tall among the current commissioners as the one who can satisfy the conditions of the IGP at our current state of policing. He has the experience, the knowledge, decisiveness and the independence of mind to move the service forward.
A little background of COP Kofi Boakye will make things clear about this opinion.
COP Boakye is 56 years old and has been in the service for 30 years. Seventeen years ago, in 2002, he was appointed acting Accra Regional Commander at the rank of Chief Superintendent. He is the first black man to have been appointed to the Accra Regional Command at the rank of Chief Superintendent. Among the qualified commissioners, he is the only person to have commanded three major regions, namely Accra, Western and Ashanti. In 2006, he was the Director of Operations at the national headquarters.
He has served in various capacities, among them are Regional Police Commander, Accra Region, RHQ/Accra from 2002 to 2005.
He was the Commander, Ghana Police Striking Force, Accra from 1999 to 2001. He was also the Commander, Anti Armed Robbery Unit, CID HQ, Accra, 1994 to 1995.
COP Boakye demonstrated tremendous achievements in accomplishing major and high profile tasks while serving in various command positions across the country. Among others, he brought massive transformation in how policing should be done in the Accra Region 17 years ago; collaborated with national lotteries to build a conference hall at the Accra Regional Headquarters named Nana Owusu Nsiah Conference Hall, which is currently being used.
In crime fighting, he is a well-known crime buster which even his critics will attest to. He was instrumental in bringing crime down in the Greater Accra Region, highlighted notably by the arrest of Ataa Ayi and his gang, “Chop Better”, “Mapat”, “Ziggy”, “Numue”, “Paa Nii”, “Mallam Abu” among others.
In the Western Region, he brought discipline and improved the infrastructure conditions.
When the crime situation in the Ashanti Region became overwhelming and the region became the centre of criminality and discipline had broken down, the Police Administration posted him there to sanitise the region. He worked so hard to bring public safety, peace stability and discipline to the region earning the accolade “Commander One”. Apart from fighting criminality, his transformational and innovative qualities have not been in question.
In this era of knowledge based leadership, COP Boakye is not found wanting. He has the following qualifications:
a. Barrister of Law (BL) – Ghana School of Law – 2006 to 2008
b. Postgraduate Certificate in Police Administrations – University of Leicester – 2000
c. Master in Public Administration (MPA) – University of Ghana – 1999.
d. Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (BSc, Hons, Upper Class Division) – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) – 1982 to 1987.
COP Boakye has a sound research background having undertaken various studies in comparative and contemporary policing issues in Ghana, including presentations on the Ghana National Security Architecture.
Today, major criminal activities take place across borders and internationally. In our context in West Africa, we are confronted by serious cross-border criminal activities and hardened criminals. COP Boakye’s direct relations with leaders in the police organizations in the region and elsewhere African are a very critical asset.
Command and control
For every IGP to be successful, he must be influential, trusted, competent, and must be able to demand results from his subordinates. Interestingly, most of the police commanders currently at post at one time or the other worked under COP Boakye. Its, therefore, goes without saying that command and control will not pose major problems and he will ensure absolute discipline in the service as was done in Ashanti Region and other places he served as leader.
I find in COP Boakye as relates to his academic knowledge, proven track record of discipline, transformation and innovation of all the regions he has commanded as the most competent and capable man at the point in the history of the police service to uplift the image and morale of the police service.
This is a man who has served all governments loyally. Yet whenever there was a change in government he has been accused of working too well for the previous government.
Democratic governance requires peace, security, safety of citizens and stability. Only a well-organized and disciplined Police Service, led by dedicated IGP and strategies of modern policing can help a government achieve these conditions. COP Boakye qualifies to lead such transformation. My money is on him to help change the police service and take it to another level.
Source: Dr. Kwame Mantey
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